By Mr. Karl Weisel (IMCOM)July 28, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden marked another milestone July 22 with the opening of the Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Cyber Center Europe.
Members of the Gray family joined U.S. military and German civilian leaders from U.S. Army Europe; 5th Signal Command; USAG Wiesbaden; the Corps of Engineers, Europe District; the Hessen Construction Agency and other organizations in celebrating the opening of the state-of-the-art, 52,000-square-foot facility on Wiesbaden's Clay Kaserne.
"With a project of this magnitude, there are always a lot of stakeholders and contributors, and it requires a tremendous amount of teamwork and communication; and as you can see, the result is spectacular," said Col. Jimmy Hall Jr., commander of the 5th Signal Command.
"As the network and communications provider for over 40,000 users in Europe, 5th Signal Command views the Gray Center as absolutely essential to our vision of delivering relevant and reliable information technology to the Army and joint forces in Europe," Hall said, calling it the "first of its kind and critical to achieving the vision of the future Army."
Besides consolidating resources in one central location in Europe, the new Cyber Center also includes a host of environmental features which are aimed at reducing overall costs and saving Army dollars. The 240-workstation center includes low flow, water-saving plumbing fixtures designed to save up to 47 percent in water consumption over traditionally designed buildings (more than 200,000 gallons annually); and a trigeneration plant which provides most of the building's power using waste heat.
"The trigeneration plant, in combination with energy-efficient features such as an improved thermal envelope, is anticipated to save $500,000 in annual energy costs," said Lt. Col. Charles Hemphill, USACE-Europe District deputy commander.
"As a result of the sustainable design features, the Gray Center is on track to earn the U.S. Green Buildings Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification," Hemphill said. "It will be the first LEED Gold facility constructed by the Army in Germany and the third LEED- certified facility on Clay Kaserne."
The new Gray Cyber Center, which witnessed a ground-breaking ceremony in June 2012 and a dedication ceremony in May 2013, honors Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray, "a pioneer in the field who served with honor," said Hall.
Gray, former chief of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and deputy USAREUR commander who retired in 1997 with more than 31 years of service, died in a traffic accident in November 2011 in Millen, Ga.
"At a time when the value of technology and automation were only beginning to be understood, Lt. Gen. Gray was shaping the future of the Signal Corps, investing in leadership and training, and stretching the capabilities of technology to support the needs of the Army," said 5th Signal Command's leader.
"The work we will do here in this center is shaped by his vision of progress," Hall said.